KOL ELIYOHU
Bereishis
Kol Eliyohu - Parshas Bereishis
   

From where did Chazal learn that Hashem hid away the light which He created?

(1,3) “And G-d said: Let there be light (יהי אור). And there was light (ויהי אור). And G-d saw the light that it was good; and G-d separated…”

Chazal taught in the Midrash, and so too it is brought in Rashi, that the first light was hidden away for the future for the Tzaddikim. We can explain this teaching from the fact that in the Holy Tongue the word יהי signifies the future - "it will be", but when a 'vav' (called by grammarians the 'vav' conversive) is added to the beginning of the word - ויהי, it changes the verb from the future tense to the past tense - "and it was".

Therefore, since Hashem said when He created the light “there will be light” - future tense, and immediately afterwards the posuk says “and it was light” - past tense, and it does not say "and G-d made the light", or "G-d created the light", like it does when Hashem created the other things, from here Chazal derived their teaching that the light that was created to give light every day, was hidden away for the future, and thus became a thing of the past.

From where did Chazal learn that Hashem initially created the sun and the moon equal?

(1,16) “And G-d made the two great luminaries; the great luminary to rule the day and the lesser luminary to rule the night, and the stars.”

In the gemora Chullin 60b, R. Shimon ben Pazi pointed out that there is a contradiction between the beginning of the posuk which says that Hashem made two great luminaries, and the end of the posuk which calls them a great and lesser luminary. He resolved the contradiction by explaining that they were created equal, but subsequently the moon was made smaller because it complained, saying: Is it possible for two kings to use the same crown?

We can explain this gemora according to what Chazal have taught us, that whenever it says שני (two), both of them must be equal. For example, the gemora in Yoma 62 concerning the two he-goats of Yom Kippur learns from the fact that the word שני is written three times that the he-goats must be equal in three aspects - in appearance, height and price.

Accordingly, we can say also here that R. Shimon ben Pazi learned from the word שני in the posuk "And G-d made the two great luminaries", that they were both equal. If so, how could it say later in the posuk “the great luminary and the lesser luminary”? Therefore, he was forced to answer that they were created equal, but because the moon said that it is impossible for two kings to use one crown, Hashem told the moon to go and reduce itself.

In a similar fashion, we can explain the words of the Targum Yonason in parshas Naso, on the posuk “his sacrifice was a silver bowl weighing one hundred and thirty, one silver sprinkling basin of seventy shekel, according to the holy shekel” (Bamidbar 7:13). The Targum Yonason writes there that the silver bowl had thick walls, and the sprinkling basin had thin walls.

But these seem to be the words of a prophet, because from where did he learn this that one was thick and one was thin? However, he in fact learned this from the wording of the posuk, which says that “both of them (שניהם) were filled with fine flour”. If so, they must have been equal, as we learned from Chazal. But since the weight of the silver bowl was 130, and the basin was only 70, how could the posuk imply that they were equal? The only possible way that this could be, was if the bowl had thick walls and the basin had thin walls, so that the bowl held the same amount of flour as the basin. Thus, since their capacity was the same, in this they were equal.

How does the posuk allude that Hashem created both the male and the female of the species?

(1,25) “And G-d made the beasts of the earth…and all the creeping things of the ground, according to their kind (למינהו).”

We can explain that the reason why the posuk writes למינהו with a 'heh' and a 'vav' at the end, is because Chazal expounded the posuk in Shir HaShirim 1:2 “Let him kiss me with kisses of his mouth (פיהו)” - like the kisses of a bride and bridegroom. They said this because the word ends with 'heh, vav'. That is, if it had written פיו (his mouth) it would have implied the kisses of a male, and if it had written פיה (her mouth) it would have implied the kisses of a female. Now that it says פיהו it implies the kisses of both a male and female, and thus they said like the kisses of a bride and bridegroom.

So too here, the word למינהו with a 'heh' and 'vav' alludes to both the male and the female of the species.

How did Chazal know that the mouth of Bilaam’s donkey was created on the eve of Shabbos durin twilight?

(2,2) “And G-d completed on the seventh day His work that he did, and He abstained on the seventh day from all His work that He did.”

The Mishnah in Pirkei Avos 5:8 says that ten things were created on the eve of Shabbos at twilight, amongst which were the mouth of the earth which swallowed Korach, the mouth of the well of Miriam and the mouth of the she-ass that spoke to Bilaam. How did Chazal know that they were created during the six days of creation, and not some new, miraculous happenings? And how did they know that they were created specifically on the eve of Shabbos at twilight?

But it says in Koheles 1:9 “there is nothing new under the sun”, and therefore all these things were already created at the time of creation. And it also says in Shemos 14:27 that the Red Sea “returned to its strength”, which Chazal expounded to mean that it returned to its stipulation. That is, it returned to its state of preparedness to fulfil the condition that Hashem had stipulated with it at the time of creation, to split for Klal Yisrael. From this we see that Hashem created certain things during the six days of creation to be active only at some time in the future, for example, these things listed in the Mishnah.

And that they were created specifically on the eve of Shabbos during twilight we learn from the apparent contradiction in the posuk that was quoted above. Because in the beginning of the posuk it says “And G-d completed on the seventh day the work that He did”, but then it says that "He abstained on the seventh day from all His work that He did". Chazal resolved this difficulty by explaining that a human who does not know the times exactly cannot do work right up to the beginning of Shabbos, but Hashem Who does know the times precisely, is able to do work until a hairsbreadth of the beginning of Shabbos, and therefore it appeared as if He completed the work on the seventh day.

This is what the next posuk says: “for on it He abstained from all His work” - He stopped creating at the exact beginning of Shabbos those things “that G-d created to do”, to do (to be active) in the future. These are all those things mentioned in Pirkei Avos which He created now, to do them in the future, when there was a special need for them.

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